Five Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids Right Now!

No Hands Under 18 Can Touch Any Free Food Sample (This falls under Article 2 of the “Double Dipping Statute.”)

Thank you Costco, Whole Foods and assorted grocery purveyors for your abundant free food samples.  Thank you children everywhere for making them E. Coli breeding stations.  To illustrate my point I will do a play-by-play of your typical five-year old reaching for a food freebie from a Whole Foods cheese tray.

Announcer:  He’s in position, that shopping cart puts him in line for a direct hit with the cheese.  He’s reaching for the cheese.  He seems to be going for the classic Cypress Grove Chevre. Uh oh, he’s sneezing.  That’s going to slow him down.  Eww, that snot went everywhere. I think I see some glistening off the Shelburne cheddar chunks.   He’s getting back into position. Time out, time out, he needs to wipe his nose with his hands.  We’re back in the game he’s reaching for the cheese again.  He’s almost got it. But, he seems distracted.  What he’s doing?  Oh, it looks like it’s a crotch itch.   He’s called an audible.  He’s going inside his pants to scratch that itch.   Okay, hand coming out of pants.  He’s finally reaching for the cheese.  It’s a full arm extension this time. He’s made contact.  He’s got one near his lips.  He licks it.  He puts it back.  He picks up another one.  Licks it.  Puts it back.  He’s going in again.  This time he grabs a kid friendly Sonoma Jack cheese.   Touch down!  We have full mouth-cheese contact.   That parents is why you must (and I suggest using the stranger danger techniques) teach your non-voting age children to stay away from the free food sample tray.

Note: I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that some adults are also guilty of excessive free food sample fondling.  It’s like they’re trying to get to second base with a ménage à trois of cheese, pita chips and blueberry crumble.

Movie Theatre is French for No Talking

I can see where a child might think that watching a movie in a theatre would be similar to watching a movie at home.  Both your house and the theatre have rooms with large screens, comfy chairs with drink holders and stains on the floor.  There is one exception – there are strangers sitting in the movie theatre and I’m hoping there aren’t strangers lounging on your coach at home.   These strangers have paid money to see the movie not to hear your children yap, chatter and have a running monologue about what’s happening on the screen, the current status of their bodily functions or when they can get more popcorn.  I’m fine with a little whisper activity from time to time.  But, talking throughout the entire movie makes me what to break a commandment or two.

I get it – kids talk.  My kids talk endlessly.  What I don’t get is parent’s that have lost the ability to tell their kids to shut up, hush, quiet down or my personal favorite – taking the yappy kid and removing them from the theatre until they get the message to zip it.   Well, my personal favorite really is pinching your child hard so they get the message to lock the lips.  If you’re the wimpy parent in the theater that doesn’t have the backbone to tell your kids to quit talking – watch out because a stranger just might do it for you (and by stranger I mean me) or better yet, just don’t take your kids to the movie.

The Retail Check Out Line “Thingamabob” Is Not a Nintendo D.S. Apparently, the newest toy on the market is the electronic check out.   Cue my eye rolling and sighing as I wait in line, as yet another parent let’s their child enter in their debit/atm code at the electronic check out station.  Invariably, the child gets the code wrong, doesn’t press down hard enough etc.  That translates into me waiting while you let your kid try to enter in your code – again and again.  Enough – not only is you child broadcasting your PIN, that just for spite I’m writing down, but you are seriously holding up the line and taking away minutes of my life I’m never going to get back.  I don’t get why parents are doing this.  The electronic thingamabob is not that fun and trust me on this one your kids don’t need any help in learning how to spend your money.  They were born with the skill. It’s intuitive.

Peeing On a Public Restroom Toilet Seat Is Not Acceptable

What makes some children view a public restroom as a “no rules” or barn animal zone?  What, I’m hoping, kids don’t do in their own home seems to be acceptable in a public restroom.  Inaccurate aiming while using the potty, no flushing, toilet clogging and the paper towel palooza.   All under the watchful eye of the parent.  Hey, parents just because you don’t have to clean it up doesn’t mean it’s okay.  How many of us have had to do the stall square dance and do-si-do while trying to find a toilet that isn’t yucky?

Headphones Must Be Used for All Electronic Devices

I “appreciate” Barney, The Jonas Brothers and Dora the Explorer.  But, do I want to hear their theme songs, playlist or T.V. show on the train, in the plane, or on a bus.  That’s a big no.  If you’re family is doing mass transit educate your child to stick on some sort of headphone/ear bud apparatus because sometimes caring is not sharing.

A big shout out to the Southwest flight attendant who went all “Super Nanny” on a mom and her three  kids in aisle C on a flight from Phoenix to Austin.  The kids were  watching a DVD on a lap top (which apparently had turbo speakers) and the movie could be heard all the way back to aisles M,N,O and P.  The flight attendant told the mom (who was sitting behind her darlings) that the kids either needed to use headphones or not watch the movie.  The mom put down her Vogue magazine and volleyed two vodka tonic’s worth of parental indignation towards the flight attendant.  The attendant served it right back (hello, Air Marshall) and the laptop was silenced.  Game, set, match to the flight attendant and Southwest.

*Become a friend of Snarky in the Suburbs on Facebook!